The carers’ network is committed to supporting all staff across the College who require extra support and guidance with balancing their work and caring commitments. The College understands Carer imagethat there will be occasions when staff will need to request time off work or work more flexibly in order to tend to their caring responsibilities. The Special leave policy includes a provision for family emergencies (involving a dependant) which states that staff are entitled to take 3 days paid leave within a 12-month rolling period. For further details and guidance on how this is applied, please refer to clause 5 of the policy.

The College also has other leave provisions where staff requests are not appropriate for caring responsibilities and this includes parental leave, unpaid leave and domestic leave. Whereby staff need to request extra leave beyond what the policy provision offers, annual leave and flexible working need to be considered. For specific or exceptional circumstances, please contact HR for further advice.

Emergency leave should always be considered by line managers subject to the operational needs of the wider team in addition to the staff member obtaining permission in advance. However, the policy provision can also be utilised in circumstances where emergency situations occur and the staff member therefore needs to request last minute absence from work without prior notice being given.

Approval of this leave must not be subject to discrimination or unjust practices by line managers and departments when considering absence requests. The leave provisions must be considered in a fair, transparent and consistent manner in alignment with the College’s equality framework.

There will be circumstances where line manager’s may can consider implementing extra flexibility for staff members in their team, particularly those who identify as carers in order to deliver further support and help the staff member(s) in question achieve a healthy work-life balance:

  • Consider the flexible working request in accordance with the guidance in the policy
  • Begin by having an informal discussion with the staff member to discuss their request, what they require and how they will utilise their flexibility if approved.
  • Ensure all requests are dealt with in a fair and transparent manner without judgement or preferential treatment.
  • Contact HR if you require further support and guidance with your decision
  • Inform the staff member of the outcome of your decision once it has been made. It is advised to inform the staff member both verbally and in writing.
  • If the request is approved, keep regular communication with the staff member and advise them to keep you updated especially if their circumstances change and to provide as much notice as they are able to.
  • If the flexible working request is to be rejected, a clear business reason needs to be provided with as much clarity as possible for the staff member. As a measure of goodwill, it is advised to discuss alternative options with the staff member that will help their situation whilst also balancing the operational output of the team and other colleagues.
  • Further information can be found on the flexible working webpage.